Precision Ag Expo Touts Variable Rate Technology

Kurt LawtonEducation, Events, Fertilizer, Planting, Remote sensing, Satellite, seed, Variable rate

Producers came to learn at the recent Precision Ag Expo field days held recently in North Dakota. Numerous questions, according to a story in Farm & Ranch Guide, aimed at gathering facts about zone maps, satellite imagery and variable rate precision farming.

Kelly Sharpe, of GK Technology, Inc., in Halstad, Minn., said his company creates variable rate mapping, taking an image from a field and creating zones based off of this input image.

Zones are soil sampled and fertilizing and seeding maps are created. The producer receives a prescription that he can input into his GPS system to apply fertilizer and seed at the correct rates while traveling across the field.

“Economics has forced us to make more money off the same acres,” Sharpe said. “There’s a lot of variability in every field caused by topography and soil types. Maps can show you where there might be more leaching of nitrogen or different soil types requiring different treatments.”

“You could put 30 pounds of nitrogen on the top of your hills and 90 pounds on the bottom of your valleys and it might not be accurate,” he said. Zone mapping is the solution to putting on the right amounts, and it can be done “right from the cab,” Sharpe said.

Check out this piece to learn more about the benefits of satellite imagery and variable rate manure application.